Have Faith? What About a Baptism?

What is your faith made of? Ever wonder this? A person can claim a lot about what they believe but until they are put in the spot to test their values – they really have no clue what their faith is made of.

I am going to clue you into what you faith should of started as – a committment. The second you got baptized was the second you made a serious committment to God. Let me guess, no one told you…no one told me either actually.

Baptism is a symbol of your personal committment to God – embracing the idea of repentance and the hope of the resurrection. One can leave this committment at any given time – don’t need to renounce nothing – just stop living by the teachings of God and your good to go. Baptism is only a beginning of a journey (which started at having faith) – but it’s not the end of it.

Your faith is a journey that will be tested along lifes roads and alleyways – do you truly believe what it is you say you do? How do you know unless you try it out?

Faith is not about having some hollow confession that ‘sounds good’. Faith is about living behind the thngs you garner from the teachings of God and becoming the substance of the living words (the words come in to real live action). John’s gospel introduces us to this paradigm – the living word. Now if Jesus was all talk then he’s just the ‘talking’ word – but he lived something he expected to see in his disciples (students).

 Faith is a lifestyle that will face points of extremes that will make many want to quit…for a variety of reasons. But at baptism you signed a committment to God that you swore to keep with your life. Good committments don’t have quitters…see any worthwhile marriage.

17 thoughts on “Have Faith? What About a Baptism?

  1. I couldn’t disagree more with the premise of this post.

    Baptism is something that God does to us. he gives us His promises and His name in baptism. He makes a committment to us…not the other way around.

    Our committments are weak, and quite often meaningless.

    God’s committments are strong and true and can always be counted on.

  2. But I agree with you Steve about God’s committment – I have not one single problem with what you just wrote…but it’s from ‘God’s viewpoint’. You need to remember – you are a human and will have to accept all you can offer is a human committment to God…even in light of the greatness of God’s commitment.

  3. Jason,

    My committment to God is like a pail of dirty diapers.

    It isn’t worth anything to HIm and it is something that does me no good either.

    God’s committment is the only one worth putting any stock in.

  4. “God’s committment is the only one worth putting any stock in.”

    so to say we’re justified by faith means we’re justified by God’s faith, not ours?

    then wouldn’t that make everyone saved?

  5. Actually you are right. We are saved by the faith of Jesus (when you boil it down).

    He gives those whom He wills, a gift of (a measure of) that faith.

    Some do not receive it, and some may walk away from it.

  6. “Some do not receive it, and some may walk away from it” (Steve)

    Why would it matter if anyone receieved that faith? God is the One having the faith on humans behalves and nothing we give is of any worth – or as you said “My committment to God is like a pail of dirty diapers”.

    In essence, as humans, we offer nothing to the process so not even out decision to accept that faith says anything – because we cannot do anything about this ‘faith’…it is outside of us…
    It is God’s choice not ours.

    It’s like the weather. We wish for rain but no matter how nice we are or how hard we pray the rain does not come. Why? Because the weather is outside of us…and it chooses to rain when it does and shine when it does. What we do is rather negligble.

    So if you think God has faith for us – and we require nothing of the sort (nor a commitment) – then how come everyone isn’t saved? Why would God even think of judging anyone – since His faith is all that matters?

    It basically tells us, the humans, you are irrelevant to the equation.

  7. “So says the Bible” (Steve)

    So says Luther and his interpretation of the bible – who was a very flawed man when it came to interpretation (remember nothing we as humans give means anything – even Luther). Plus he wrote ‘on the jews’ which showed off some of his rather questionable interpretive skills – which reveals his theology had an agenda and can be questioned.

    Also the bible does not speak – we speak for it – we interpret it and make decisions on what it means – and Luther (and the Catholic church) decided the sacraments were the core. I disagree with both institutions.

    “He has to give it to us. He does this through Word and Sacrament” (Steve)

    Now even if this were true – which it ain’t – then what about jim jones – he also took and gave these 2 sacraments? One must assume that Jim Jones is ‘saved’ and Jesus gave him faith that led to death of some 900 people at Jim’s hands. If your sacrament theory is correct that is.

    I think scripturally it’s bogus to think baptism and communion add anything to a person – that they aren’t already experiencing inside anyways. It’s like saying a diploma for graduating grade 8 means something without ever finishing those grades in the first place.

  8. Not says Luther. Says the Bible.

    Do you want me to cite where the Bible says that faith is a gift of God? Or where it says that the Spirit gives faith, when and where He will?

    Jason, if you don’t believe it, that’s fine.

    Please don’t tell me (though) that I’m making all this up. I am not.

  9. “Do you want me to cite where the Bible says that faith is a gift of God? Or where it says that the Spirit gives faith, when and where He will?” (Steve)

    Yes in fact – if we want to scripturally base all of these claims. I know God gives faith and the Spirit moves where it will – I agree. Question – did God give Adam and Eve faith or were they born that way?

    “Please don’t tell me (though) that I’m making all this up. I am not” (Steve)

    I didn’t say you were making things up – just that the reasoning seems bogus. I know you can haul out a few passages on this subject – if this is so – let’s debate those in the contexts they were written and see where that lands us.

    I disagree the sacraments add what you think they do – and I have provided good reasoning for that. I also disagree that faith is imputed to us at some point – like a spiritual gift of some sort. Faith is part of the human fabric and I have good reasons for believing this also…many proofs I have provided on this site for years and backed up with scripture.

    Now I have to ask of you the same as I have given in keeping with the Christian tradition of ‘treat others how you want to be treated’.

  10. Jason,

    To be quite frank, I have cited the same scriptures here many times before and I’m getting worn out doing it.

    As I said, if you don’t believe it, that’s great, but it is in the book.

    Ephesians 2:8,9 “For grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is a gift of God- not because of works lest any man should boast.”

    John 3:8

    “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know from where it comes, or where it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”

    Jesus to Nicodemus.

  11. “As I said, if you don’t believe it, that’s great, but it is in the book” (Steve)

    I don’t agree with it to be honest – doesn’t line up with reality is my only problem. I believe in having faith and the Spirit of God – but your presentation of the scriptures is one aspect of many being offered in the scriptures.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 – which is the gift – the grace of God or faith? I think the passage is pointing to the grace of God being the gift (inclusion of the Gentiles) which is accessed through one having faith in God. The passage seems to point to this when it says ‘through faith’. The grace of God is all God’s doing – however – faith is our doing – as part of the committment to God.

    Ephesians 2:12 “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world”

    Paul seems to be making this case about ‘grace’ further in the same chapter. Paul seems to think Gentiles were ‘strangers’ and ‘excluded’ from the original community God spoke to…but that’s not the case anymore with Jesus. That’s the grace he seems to be pointing to in this chapter.

  12. John 3:8 is about the spirit of God moving when and where it will – namely in answer to the question of Nicodemus concerning this phenomenon (born again).

    In that same passage Jesus does not elaborate on this phenomenon – just mentions it exists and seems to not have a clue himself how it works in that passage. Yet further down the passage:

    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16) (also ne verses 15 and 18)

    Jesus mentions ‘believes’ three times almost back to back. Jesus’ concern (or the writers concern) was they believe in him. Belief is an action required on the part of the human being to make…nowhere does Jesus clarify this point and say ‘the Spirit must give the gift of faith to you so you can believe in me’. I mean, that’s what I am looking for and cannot find it.

    The Spirit of God moves where it will – no one knows how that works…yet believing in Jesus is still required – and this is laid out pretty solidly through-out the gospels in general (follow the teachings of Jesus). Even John would seem to be making this point:

    “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:21)

    It is the deeds one committs that speaks solidly to whether they are in the ‘truth/light’ versus the ‘darkness’ (evil deeds – vs. 19). Oddly enough, if we are going to play by the literal words – one comes to the light practices the truth…what the heck is practice doing in there (an action verb) if nothing is required of a person when they come to God? It even mentions one’s ‘deeds’ being manifested and open for everyone to see as part of the proof they follow God.

    I don’t know, but I have to say, but it seems like even John’s gospel is requiring people to show their faith by their deeds. I don’t believe the gift of faith is as you say it is – but only that we have been given this ability and we can choose or not choose this pathway (also in John 14:6) – but it is up to the individual to ‘believe’…no one can do that for us.

  13. “I much prefer clarity to agreement” (Steve)

    I don’t get what that even means? I have heard you say it a few times now when it seems the discussion is in complete disagreeance. What does it mean?

    I’ll happen a guess: Clarity means your position is clear and makes sense to you. Agreement means you have to alter your stance to make some concession within the discussion.

  14. We just disagree on this matter, that’s all.

    I always tend to be more God centered (what He does and promises), and less man centered (what he does and promises).

    Thanks, Jason!

    Good discussion!

    Gotta run! Off to do chores!

  15. “I much prefer clarity to agreement” (Steve)

    “I don’t get what that even means?”

    It means that I would rather know where you stand, and why, and have you know where I stand, and why…than to sweat out the fact that we do not agree on it (whatever).

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